Behind the Mask of the Sexual Harasser

Highlights

  • Sexual harassers come across as cocky and powerful.
  • The principle of subpersonalities can help us see and understand the part of the harasser that acts in inappropriate ways.
  • These different subpersonality of the sexual harasser usually feels insignificant and insecure.
  • This crisis presents men with a powerful opportunity for reflection and action.

 

Behind the Mask of the Sexual Harasser

How many of you guys are absolutely freaking out that somebody’s going to post something on Facebook that you did?

It seems like lately we can’t go five minutes without someone else being exposed; somebody’s dark secrets being exposed. For the ooglers and my objectifiers, for the men who are listening who have exploited that power dynamic, this really gives us an incredible opportunity to reflect on the men that we want to be.

Many of us wear these different masks and these masks hid our true selves. The interesting thing, this dichotomy, I think, that’s really interesting to me, the guy who’s banging the chicks, the sexual harasser, the inappropriate guy at work, he’s conceded; he’s cocky; power hungry. Those things all may be true but once you start to peel away the layers of the onion and you take the mask of the sexual harasser off (by definition that’s someone who exploits that power dynamic) you find a different part of that person. We call those different parts of ourselves in The Mindful Habit System subpersonalities.

A subpersonality is a separate and distinct part of ourselves that have competing wants, drives, desires, a different birth story. They have a different origin. They came from different places. Their programming is rooted in different aspects of our past. Using the subpersonality construct, we can examine the sexual harasser.

I can only speak from my own experience, my own conduct. The  inappropriate touching, groping, hugging, saying rude things, being obnoxious, making that sexual joke to see who’s going to respond.

I call that fishing.

You make the joke, make the sexually inappropriate comment in a place where sexual jokes are completely inappropriate, like the workplace, and see who’s going to respond, which person is going to respond.

On the outside these men of power that you’ve been reading about have these certain reputations. I remember watching Ben Affleck and his buddy there talking about Harvey Weinstein, “Oh, he was a badass. He was really mean. He was super tough.”

He’s broken. This is a broken man. These are broken people.

Now, women are feeling empowered. It feels like this shift that’s changing where women are saying no more, no mas, this is bullshit. They’re coming out and they’re sharing their stories. For some men, that’s embarrassing, and for some men that has legal ramifications.

I have my coaching program where The Mindful Habit System where I move men from point A to point B and I’m very proud of the coaching program, but I’ve also been called upon for my risk management. I’ve been assistant general counsel at billion-dollar companies. When this goes public for some of my clients I’m behind the scenes pulling the strings and helping manage, minimize the risk in helping them get back on track and to be the best person that they can be.

If you are making inappropriate sexual jokes at work or using your power dynamic to advance your sexual agenda, you are a sexual harasser.

Make no mistake about it. You’re breaking the law.

When I work with these men, and these are men of means, men of power, men, in some cases, with a public personality, a public face and ego. So much of this is ego, craving power and how else to demonstrate that power through their accomplishments, through their notches in their belt.

What’s so interesting to me is the perception that these men have of themselves when they start the work versus when they end because when they start the work they’re wearing this mask, and that mask is ego. That mask is power.

It’s interesting because that mask is the American dream.

Napoleon Hill calls sex one of the most important drivers of human behavior. It pushes us to attract women. It’s where we get our significance. Once you unmask addict or you unmask the sexual harasser, behind that mask is insignificance. When I was engaging in that behavior I was feeding my insecurities by seeking affirmation in places where I shouldn’t be seeking that affirmation.

This is an incredibly insightful time for us to ask “what does the next generation of man look like?”

What I’m trying to say is this presents an opportunity for us, as men, to look in the mirror and reflect on who we are. That’s immortalized even in cartoons, when the eyes pop out of the head.

I guess I want to acknowledge, too, that it’s confusing. It’s confusing for me because, wait, so we don’t oogle and objectify but women can dress any way they want and that’s not like sending a sexual message?

I’m going back to my old brain and trying to reconcile some of these challenges that we have as men. There is that natural drive that we notice beauty.

I think the question, though, is what do we do with it? What do we do with it when we notice? Does it consume us? Does it cause us to engage in behavior that violates our covenant and our pact with our partner?

Guys, now is the time to get in front of this problem and conduct a personal risk assessment. Ask yourself how many people could come forward and am I prepared if that happens? Listen, not all of you guys are in a place where that’s relevant to you.

I think the opportunity for us, again, as men, as we take off that mask of that sexual harasser and see behind that mask the insecurity and insignificance. Behind the mask of the sexual harasser is insignificant and insecure. The smaller the inner child, the bigger the harasser almost. I’m not saying that’s true for everybody. But it’s true for the vast majority of the guys I see and work with.

This crisis presents an opportunity for us, as men, to look in the mirror and ask ourselves who do we want to be for our partners? Who do we want to be for our kids? Who do we want to be? What does success look like? I think there’s a powerful opportunity here.

Will you take this opportunity to reflect and take action?

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